WILL & GRACE RETURNS!
- By Alex Brown
- Photos Courtesy of NBC
There has hardly been a more anticipated return of any show, anytime, than that of Will & Grace, when the smash hit comes back for a 10-episode season on NBC this fall. Creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan quickly turned an election-year viral video into a full-blown revival, and television watchers everywhere could not be more thrilled!
When the cast of the hit 90s and early 2000s sitcom once again “grace” the screens of TVs everywhere, fans of the original show will be treated to a reprise of the same set and characters that they left when the sun set on the show in 2005. The storylines, persons and circumstances of the hilarious foursome will return to a pre-final-episode reality, with Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) still sharing the same apartment, and Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) doing—well—what Jack and Karen do. And while it will feel like a comfortable pair of jeans to those who already adore the show, the timing and levity the series provides could not come at a better time to attract new fans.
When the band got back together to shoot a 10-minute “get out the vote” video back in 2016, Mutchnick, Kohan and the cast could not have anticipated the response they would receive. When nearly 10 million people watched and roared at the short, it was a no-brainer to go to the next step—a honest-to-goodness reunion season.
Yes, the show has an enormous fan base. Yes, the rip-roaring jokes and comedy are laugh-out-loud hilarious. And yes, the cast is a tour-de-force. But the much-heralded return will slake more than just a collective thirst for good television, in this, the golden age of TV. Audiences are hungering for the return of a time when everything didn’t seem so complicated. When the world didn’t seem so turned upside down. When marriage, divorce, family death and coming out seemed like the biggest problems any of us faced.
It can be easy to look back and see the show as the harbinger of things to come, but in those early days, that was not always the case. The show’s creators recall looking for a leading man that was straight enough that it wouldn’t scare off the mainstream. The only model they had to work off was Ellen DeGeneres, who came out on her own show, and whose bravery in doing so was not necessarily rewarded in the ratings. In fact, Mutchnick recalled in a recent article that even though they told the audience that Will was gay, people still walked away wondering why he and Grace had not gotten together. It was a different world, and the out-and-proud television landscape we live in today owes a great deal to the mold breaking that Will & Grace pioneered back in those days.
Still, whether it was timing, or whether it controlled its own destiny (and ours), the series and its cast collected scores of awards and accolades, including 16 Primetime Emmys, a plethora of Screen Actors Guild Awards and at least one Emmy for each of the cast members, including two for Mullally. In fact, the only award that seems to have evaded the show was an elusive Golden Globe. Perhaps we can look for that in 2018?
In any event, getting the new season up and running proved to be an easy task, as each cast member eagerly signed on to the project, and the rest of the personalities who make the show happen flocked back to the reunion. And it is easy to see why audiences will likely be doing the exact same thing come this fall.
A not-to-be-missed television event, the revival of Will & Grace is sure to be a hit the minute the opening credits begin, with all the sass, heart and “Just Jack!” jokes one could possibly want. So, stir yourself up a dry martini, and be sure to tune into NBC this September to reconnect with some of TV’s most colorful characters, or discover the shenanigans of one of the small screen’s most beloved foursomes for the first time. Your life will be all the better for it.
“Will & Grace” premieres September 28th on NBC.